Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and at over three kilometres is arguably the highest navigable lake in the world, shared by Peru and Bolivia. In spite of claims to the contrary it is a fresh water lake, but is slowly reducing in size due reduced inflow from the retreating Andean glaciers. Lake Poopó to the south has now dried out completely(a) .
To the south of the lake are remarkable archaeological remains of Tiwanaku and the equally exciting Puma Punku. Both sites have produced some extreme theories regarding the builders of these monuments, their technology level and the date of their construction. Arthur Posnansky, followed by Kurt Bilau have proposed a date of circa 9500 BC as the date of fall of Tiwanaku. There are also reports of pre-Incan structures submerged in Titicaca(d) .
South of Lake Titicaca, near Lake Poopó is Pampa Aullagus, a site identified by Jim Allen as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. While there is little doubt that advanced cultures existed around Titicaca, linking the region to Plato’s story is stretching credibility to its limits. I have already argued in respect of Jim Allen’s Andean theory, that the idea of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by an army from the west side of South America is untenable. That they would try it in reed boats like those of Titicaca is equally daft. Then, that this mighty army from ten regions of South America were defeated by the small city-state of Athens is just as laughable.
Equally questionable is the idea that there was a Sumerian presence around Titicaca, in relation to which Clyde Winters quotes(b) James Bailey as well as Ruth and A. Hyatt Verrill in supporting the idea that Lake Manu in Sumerian tradition was in fact Titicaca. The controversial(c) Fuente Magna bowl is also offered as evidence of this idea.
J.M. Allen, a Scotsman, worked in the 1970’s as an expert in satellite mapping with the British Royal Air Force. He was also a researcher of ancient measuring systems. The combination of these two interests led to a conviction that Plato’s Atlantis could be matched with a site in the Altiplano of Bolivia,which he outlined in his book Atlantis: The Andes Solution. Coincidentally, in the same year, Tony Morrison published an article entitled The Bolivian Atlantis(k-n).
Allen’s case is primarily based on the discovery of a vast canal network in the region together with aerial photography indicating concentric rings on the ground. His chosen site of Pampa Aullagus contains red, white and black rock reminiscent of the Atlantean masonry described by Plato.
In a TV documentary that focused on his theory it was suggested that the other nine kingdoms that comprised the Atlantean domain were probably to be found in South America.
Allen has also written Decoding Ezekiel’s Temple(a), which discusses ancient measuring methods.
2009 saw the publication of a second book, Atlantis: Lost Kingdom of the Andes designed to reinforce his original thesis of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. A trilogy was completed in 2010 with the publication of The Atlantis Trail (Kindle)which records his travels in the Andes in search of Atlantis(b). A small hotel is now being built in Pampa Aullagus to cater for increased number of tourists, no doubt in response to the work of Jim Allen.
In 2012, Allen published Atlantis and the Persian Empire, which is available to download as a free pdf file(c). This work is really just a reprise of his earlier writings. In this somewhat provocatively titled book he claims that Plato took the geography of the Atlantis story from the Andes, a theme he has been promoting since 1998.
However, he also maintains that the military history in Plato’s narrative was based on the war between Athens and the Persian Empire in the 5th century BC. Another of his more exotic claims is that the Sea Peoples were from South America. Allen devotes a considerable part of the book to ancient South American metrology and ends with a comparison of relative merits of the Altiplano versus Santorini as the inspiration behind Plato’s Atlantis story.
An extensive critique of Allen’s theories is offered by Timothy J.Stephany on his website(e). Nevertheless, although I consider Allen’s basic theory regarding Atlantis unacceptable, I find that part of his website showing images(f) of an extensive range of artifacts demonstrate most eloquently that South American civilisation was heavily influenced by distant cultures, both east and west.
Support for Allen’s views has continued into 2013(d), despite those elements that still conflict with Plato’s narrative: dating, dimensions and the improbability of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by a force from the west coast South America! However, I have found that in 1900, Peter de Roo devoted chapter seven of his History of America before Columbus[890.v1] to a review of the idea that at various times native Americans travelled eastward and among other things were responsible for the settling of Egypt!
Allen’s site offers an extensive article on the life and research of Posnansky, including excerpts from his work(j).